February 9, 2005

Chicago Transit Authority customers will be able to purchase the CTA's popular Chicago Card at locations in their communities soon in addition to the CTA Sales Center, Internet, by calling 1-888-YOURCTA, and through the mail. Today the Chicago Transit Board approved an ordinance authorizing the sale of the high tech farecard at authorized sales outlets, including Chicago Currency Exchanges, Jewel-Osco and Dominick's Finer Food stores.

?Today's action will make smart card technology available at more locations in the heart of the communities we serve," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?This will give more of our customers the choice to use the Card, and to take advantage of its security and time saving features."

?Chicago Card is a touch and go farecard option for customers that speeds boarding on buses and trains," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?With more locations to purchase the card, we encourage CTA customers to try the Chicago Card and start enjoying the benefits it provides, including fare balance protection."

Since its debut in November 2002, more than 63,000 CTA customers have signed up for the Chicago Card. Another 79,000 customers have registered for the Chicago Card Plus, a smart card featuring electronic reloading that became available in January 2004. Chicago Cards have proven popular throughout the region, with wide circulation not only in the City of Chicago, but also in suburban Cook County and the collar counties.

The Chicago Card enables customers to simply touch the card against a target on bus fareboxes and rail turnstiles and go. The extra seconds saved for each customer makes travel even more efficient as those seconds add up and shave time off the boarding process for everyone.

There is a $5 fee to purchase the Chicago Card, which provides fare protection as well as a $1 bonus for every $10 of added value.

Authorized sales outlets will sell pre-loaded cards for $25 ($5 for the card and $22 in fare value including $2 in bonuses). After the initial purchase, value can be added at any Transit Card Vending Machine. The card holds a maximum of $100 including bonuses. A customer also has the option of registering their card with the CTA to protect the balance if the card is lost, stolen or damaged.

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